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Oklahoma governor signs bill to make most abortions illegal

Kevin Stitt
Posted at 10:10 AM, Apr 12, 2022

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed into law a bill making it a felony to perform an abortion, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The Republican governor signed the bill on Tuesday after it easily passed the Republican-controlled House and Senate.

The bill makes an exception only for an abortion performed to save the life of the mother.

There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

Anyone convicted of performing an abortion in the state of Oklahoma could face time in prison as well as a $100,000 fine.

Criminal charges cannot be pressed against a woman who received an abortion.

It takes effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns next month.

Abortion rights advocates say the bill is clearly unconstitutional and is likely to face a legal challenge.

Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund said in a statement, "This ban, like all abortion bans, will harm real people ... We will challenge any abortion ban enacted in Oklahoma.”

The ACLU of Oklahoma also vowed to challenge the new law.

"Today’s signing is a reminder of the immediate threat to our community's health and reproductive freedom, serving as a placeholder to a rapidly approaching future without access to safe and legal abortion ... We must continue to fight in the courts, in our state legislature, in the streets, and at the ballot box to guarantee all people have access to the health care they need,” said Tamya Cox-Touré, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma.

The White House also commented on the law on Tuesday.

In a statement, White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, said, " This unconstitutional attack on women’s rights is just the latest and one of the most extreme state laws signed into law to date. Protecting the right recognized in Roe v. Wade continues to be a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration, and we call on Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would shut down these attacks and codify this long-recognized, constitutional right."

Its passage is part of a trend of GOP-led states passing aggressive anti-abortion legislation as the conservative U.S. Supreme Court considers ratcheting back abortion rights that have been in place for nearly 50 years.